A New Zealand student has invented a 3D-printed brace to take on the plaster cast.
Using a 3D scanner hacked from an Xbox Kinect, Jake Evill – a recent graduate of Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand – has developed a 3D-printed brace prototype called the ‘Cortex cast’.
The brace is an injury-localised exoskeleton that follows the contours of the broken limb. It is lightweight, washable and recyclable.
The cast will typically be three millimetres thick and will weigh under 500 grams.
The Cortex is designed to mimic the body’s trabecular, the small honeycomb-like structure that makes up your inner bone structure.
“It was this honeycomb structure that inspired the Cortex pattern because, as usual, nature has the best answers,” said Evill.
Although the Cortex is in very early development, Evill is planning on working with a hospital to fully test the prototype as well as finding a manufacturer for the product.